Even Faster Way to Compare 2 Lists in Excel [Quick Tip] (chandoo.org)

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Posted: 01 Jul 2010 01:41 AM PDT
Last week we discussed a fun and easy way to compare two lists of data in excel using conditional formatting. In that post, Artem commented,
The quickest way to find all about two lists is to select them both and them click on Conditional Formatting -> Highlight cells rules -> Duplicate Values (Excel 2007). The result is that it highlights in both lists the values that ARE the same. Then in one list non-highlighted are values that are not present in the second list, and opposite for the second list. I think it is sell "geeky", but it gets job done very very quickly when you don't want to mess around.
Artem must be an Excel Yoda. I somehow missed this beautiful and dead-simple way to compare lists in Excel. So here, I am documenting that technique so we all remember it and use it.

A Ridiculously easy and fun way to compare 2 lists

Compare 2 lists of Data in Excel - Conditional Formatting Tip[works only Excel 2007+, use the above technique if you are on excel 2003 or earlier]
  1. Select cells in both lists (select first list, then hold CTRL key and then select the second)
  2. Go to Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Duplicate Values
  3. Press ok.
  4. There is nothing do here. Go out and play!
See the screencast aside to see how this works (click here for a detailed demo).
Hats off to Artem for sharing this beautiful tip with us. Thank you :)
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